Pork Carnitas Drowned Sandwich Jalisco Style / Torta Ahogada, a Guest Post from "Pily en la Cocina"

Torta Ahogada1

This is recipe and photos are  from my Dear fellow blogger Pily from “La Cocina de Pily”. Pily lives in Guadalajara, Jalisco., and from there she shares her love of cooking with a variety of easy to make dishes and blogging about it while also homeschooling two teenager boys. Those are just two of the many things we have in common.
But let’s go to the recipe: “Tortas Ahogadas” (salsa-drowned sandwiches) are typical of Guadalajara city in the State of Jalisco. They are made with a roll called "salted Birote", which is different from the traditional Mexican bread  “bolillo”. Birote has a sour taste and a very hard crust slightly similar to a crusty baguette or a mild sourdough. That’s why it's so good for this smothered sandwich since it doesn’t get soft as easily as other breads. Of course, that it will soften, but not so fast, this sandwich is smeared with refried beans  filled with pork carnitas and  topped with a tasty tomato sauce and the brave ones also top it with a spicy Arbol sauce. Personally I do not like to add the spicy sauce because I like to enjoy it, when it is too hot then you do not taste the food, add ... your lemon, salt and very importantly, a cold Coke ... wow!
Here is a link in case you would like to learn more about the history of our famous  "Torta Ahogada".

 Torta Ahogada3

People who come from other states, in my experience, do not like this sandwich very much because it is "softened with the sauce”, but I love it!
Well, too much blah, blah ... Here goes the recipe
Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 4 hard rolls, halved horizontally
  • 1 Lb Pork Carnitas
  • ¾ cup of Refried Beans
  • 2 Lbs. ripe tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon of dry Mexican oregano
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 / 4 of a large thinly sliced onion  and marinated in lemon juice

Hot sauce:

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Cook the tomatoes in a pot with water, drain and blend in blender with garlic, vinegar, oregano and salt.
In a large pot put the sauce to a boil   1 / 2 hour, adding water, depending on how liquid you would like it (in many places it is thick in others don’t, depending on your taste) taste the salt, if you feel that it needs more oregano, add more, or a little more vinegar, it should be a little acid, but rich ... I know that this recipe is quite a personal taste, sorry, but it will depend a lot on your taste for spices and vinegar, this is the basis, ok?

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For the Hot sauce, cook the 15 Arbol Chiles in water for a bout 15 minutes or until tender, place them in a blender or food processor with a little of the cooking water, 1/2 clove of  garlic, salt and puree until smooth.  Strain and it is ready ...be  careful with this sauce is very spicy!

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Now to assembly the sandwich, spread some refried beans on each side of the rolls, top bottom half with a portion of the Pork Carnitas, served on a plate and top with the tomato salsa, serve with marinated onions alongside, a wedge of  lemon and ... dig in! If you like to spice your sandwich add the árbol sauce. My friend Nora also has her own version in Spanish HERE.

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  1. Is this a version of a Pambazo? It's totally making my mouth water...stuffed with fantastic Carnitas and dipped in a chile de arbol sauce? ¡Si, por favor!

  2. @girlichef

    Hi Heather,

    The process is similar. Pambazos as you know are from Central Mexico, different bread, filling and sauce but the step of topping or dipping the sandwich in the sauce is the same. It is hard to find a good "Torta ahogada" outside Jalisco.

    But knowing you, I am sure you will make a great replica in your kitchen.!


  3. This heat and a cold Coke? Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing the background!

  4. Mira nomas que ricura, que bueno que acabo de comer así no me voy a morir por la falta de torta ahogada!

    Se ve delicioso querida Mely.


  5. Mely: tienes razón, compartimos más que esto :D qué lindo verdad?
    Te ha quedado estupenda la receta y ya se me hizo agua la boca .. qué delicia !!!
    Un beso amiga

  6. Muchas gracias Mely por traerme lindos recuerdos de mi lindo estado Jalisco! nunca fui fanatica de estas tortas pues aparte de picosas las preparan super mojadas y muchas se deshacen cuando las estas comiendo, pero tu version me encanto.


    PS. no se por que me no podia ver este post desde la semana pasada queria entrar, ando con problemas para poder verlos o dejar comments en varios blogs. ojala pase pronto este asuto.

  7. desde luego, una delicia, siempre que me paso por tu blog, me voy muerta de hambre, besitos desde londres

  8. My mouth is watering and drooling at the same time while I read and look at your recipe! Thanks for stopping by my blog with your kind comment. I am now following your wonderful blog and hope you will follow me back too.

  9. @Mexico in my kitchen
    Thanks Mely...but can't I just stop by yours (or hers) ;) Seriously sounds amazing!

  10. Mely, que riquísima se ve esta torta! La probé por primera vez en Guadalajara y al principio no me gusto. Después de un tiempo y varias veces de comerla le encontré el gusto. En estos meses iré de visita a Guadalajara y no me voy a perder de este platillo. Yum, tu receta se ve deliciosa!

  11. delicious! thank you so much for the recipe. I have never made them myself but I LOVE to eat tortas and this recipe rocks!... I'm off to visit Pily in Jalisco.

  12. Wow1 I just love Mexican food...All your recipes are amazing!!!

  13. Mely se me antojó hacer tortas ahogadas. El virote de Guadalajara para las tortas ahogadas son panes más densos por eso no se aguadan al ahogar las tortas. Esos bolillos supongo tú los hiciste, se ven buenísimos. Las fotos me encantaron!

  14. @Nokriss

    Hola NOra,

    La receta es de Pily y ella la preparo en su casa. Me imagino que los birotes los compro.



  15. Mely, me surgió la duda: Birote o Virote? Esto fue lo que encontré en la red, es un tema de polémica. Yo prefiero Virote. Les dejo estos dos enlaces, el segundo tiene la receta del virote.



  16. Mely, para ahondar más en la palabra VIROTE, les dejo este enlace. Y de paso también encontré que Semita es con C CEMITA, ese pan anisado del norte del país que tanto nos gusta


  17. Looks delicious, Im going to have to try it soon!

  18. first class sandwich so want to visit mexico and eat eat eat

  19. I would loooooooove to give this a try! With all of those ingredients and the description of the roll, how could it be anything other than fantastic! Yum!

  20. Hola Mely

    Esto era lo que faltaba al blog, una deliciosa torta ahogada mmmmm

    Gracias a ti y a Pily!

  21. Mely, I just wanted to stop in and say Hello :) Hope everything is Ok with you--Loving these carnitas. Se ven deliciosas!



  22. Ay, Mely, que delicios son las tortas.
    me recuerda a un restaurant in California llamado "Tortas Sinaloa"
    aver cuando se la hago a mi Buddy.

  23. Ahh, tengo que ir a Guadalajara por unas tortas ahogadas, por unos birotes, por unas jericallas, por tantas cosas ricas que hay por allá.
    Me fascinan.

    Sobre la duda de Birote o Virote, me acordé de un maestro que me bajó un punto en un cuento por escribirlo con V. Me dió mucho coraje porque mi cuento era buenísimo. Como las tortas ahogadas.
    Un beso querida Mely

  24. even though i dont eat pork , that does look like a delicious looking sandwich :), maybe can try with beef instead of pork.

  25. I have always seen this and heard of it but can you believe never had it!? It's been on my i-have-to-try this. It looks like a better version of a french dip sandwich ;) Now this is going to have to go on my i-have-to-make-this list!

  26. My mouth is watering so much I can't speak.

  27. looks irresistably hearty and full of nice texture..
    first time here ...love your space..
    awesome recipe collection with gorgeous clicks..
    Am your happy subscriber now..:)
    do stop by mine sometime..
    Tasty Appetite

  28. Si es cierto Mely, tiene que ser gabacho para salir en la tele. tu crees que van a poner a una Mexicana en su propio show.

  29. Mely,
    donde andas mujer? reportate, I made some of your Swiss enchiladas, me salieron bien ricas.

  30. Mely,
    que bueno que estas muy bien,ocupada trabajando.
    yo la paso checkiando cada rato aver que recetas nos postea.

    mil abrazos
    te me cuidas amorcito

  31. Melyy!! donde andas! se te extraña! besitos

  32. Hola, buenas noches. muy buena receta de tortas ahogadas, es un platillo bastante picoso pero muy rico también, aquí en la capital es difícil hallarlas pues el virote no puede prepararse aquí por la altura, de todas formas que ricas se ven mucho gusto me da haber encontrado este blog, felicitaciones

  33. Hola Gaby,

    Aqui ando tomando un tiempo para la familia.
    Regreso pronto.

    Saludos y disfruta elv erano con tus hermosos crios.


  34. Hola Rolando,

    Gracias por tus palabras,
    Que tengas un bello dia.


  35. This looks and sounds amazing. I have to admit, living in B.C. I've never had one but if I ever have the chance I'm going to try it or just make it myself! :)

    1. Hello Ketie,

      I hope you can make them. I am sure you can buy Carnitas en your area. Enjoy!

  36. How long does this take to cook? Also if you can have it in prep time and cooking time, it'd be really helpful!

    1. Hello ,

      This sandwich is usually make of pork meat that was cooked earlier, the day before or bought from the butcher already made.
      You can find the recipe for the carnitas here in 2 versions: http://bit.ly/kjZOoM

      The salsa will take about 20 minutes to make including cooking time. Both the carnitas and the salsa can be prepare ahead of time until ready to assembly into sandwich - torta.

      Thanks for your interest.


  37. My husband is from Jalisco I make these all the time he loves them.

  38. Its been about a week since I found your website. Love looking through it for inspiration. Many of your recipes are similar or the same to what I grew up eating and cook myself. I can't believe the amount of recipes you have! What a great resource. I was thrilled to find out, if I understand correctly that you are a homeschooling mama. I am Mexican also, have been homeschooling for many years, and love to cook traditional Mexican dishes, so I feel in some way a connection to you. Do you ever write about homeschooling?

    I will definitely try the tortas this weekend.

    1. Hello,
      Thank you for your kind comments. We did homeschool for many years our son until he finished high school. I usually write about the recipes. I hope you enjoy the recipes! And please, let me know if I can be of any help.


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